Thirteen years after the broadcast of the final chapter of its wonderful third season, ‘Deadwood’ returns as an unexpected gift that should be celebrated with the same doses of surprise as of enthusiasm. And it is that, as much as rumors are a constant in the world of unexpectedly canceled series, few of us believed that a proposal like ‘Deadwood: The Movie’, a finishing touch that, now, serves so that we can say goodbye between tears and ovations of one of the most impressive, poetic, inspired and unforgettable westerns ever shot. Both on a small and large screen.
Situated in plot terms ten years after that third collection of impeccable episodes, ‘Deadwood: The Movie’ clearly bets on reducing the doses of suffocating darkness and violence that marked much of its past in favor of an emotion as warm as it is comforting. It is not so much about retaking the exact path that had become the series created by a David Milch who returns in top form as a unique scriptwriter, but about offer the faithful viewer a sincere and sensitive tribute to this small border town and its memorable characters.
The power of reunions
From its brilliant opening shot, ‘Deadwood: The Movie’ begins to show its cards clearly and obviously, transforming a wait of just over a decade into tiny parentheses. When the reunion takes place with the innocent gaze of Calamity Jane, wonderful Robin Weigert, the transparent kindness of Charlie Utter, the smile of Trixie, that eternal mixture of loneliness and courage of Alma Garret, the hilarious clumsiness of EB Farnum or the extreme kindness from Sol Star, how great is John Hawkes, one feels that time, that ruthless and compassionate element of essence, has not passed, standing firm in that neighborhood territory, lounges, wooden houses made with worn hands and loaded weapons.
To enhance these emotions, Milch takes advantage of a resource as simple and effective at the same time as the flashback, reminding us of brushstrokes of those plots whose echo will set in motion the plot of a film that, in terms strictly related to the background, could perfectly pass through a double chapter of the series. Of course, one of the best. And it is that, perhaps because from the beginning the cinematographic essence was always there, the feeling of seeing something especially different from what you already enjoyed years ago is never abandoned. Comfort zone? It can, but damn it, when it comes to a landscape with so many fully seated golden pillars and pieces of a board marked by greatness in every way, one almost prefers minimal risks to be taken.
Bullock y Swearengen
Directed with an iron pulse by Daniel Minahan, responsible for some chapters of such outstanding series as’ American Crime Story ‘,’ Homeland ‘,’ Two meters underground ‘,’ The Good Wife ‘,’ The Newsroom ‘or’ Game of Thrones’, the tape always moves at a perfectly controlled intensity, balancing with enviable dexterity the light and characteristic comic touches with the signature drama, also offering touches of truly inspired visual inventiveness. Everything flows in an exemplary way, managing the times and the characters with wisdom and restraint, completely avoiding the fall into the routine or the automatic pilot. The story and the way it is told is familiar to us, yes, but that does not cause the attention to be lost at any time.
We talk about a film that grabs you by the lapel and shakes you with its nocturnal tension, hypnotizes you with its steel dialogues, makes you fall in love with its melancholic romanticism and, finally, brings tears to your eyes without giving in to the easy tear of the tear. A last spell in which Timothy Olyphant and, above all, Ian McShane, that is, Seth Bullock and Al Swearengen, are much to blame.
And although at this point it seems absurd and dispensable to underline the importance that these two characters have in the most golden age of television, it is worth highlighting the tremendous impact of re-enjoying their imposing presence, authentic heart, muscle and entrails of this masterful history. For their part, the interpretations of both actors, like those of the rest of the entire cast, are far beyond praise, especially in the case of a McShane who turns each of his appearances into something very close to the prodigy. His are the best scene and phrase of all ‘Deadwood: The movie’. Little surprise in that sense, but the same admiration.
Winter in the Old West
The waiting was worth it? The question, as obvious as it is inevitable, gets a firm and forceful answer: Yes. And with a non-negotiable capital letter. For all those viewers who enjoyed one of the best series in the history of the small screen, ‘Deadwood: The Movie’ is a farewell that outstandingly fulfills its very complicated task of living up to a bar near infinity. A forever bathed in snow, songs sung to the shared lungs and shots silenced by hugs, reunions and farewells that, almost for the first time in this wild, furious and bloody West, manage to transform sadness into something similar to happiness.
Worse times will come in Deadwood, no doubt, but that is a story that we will have to imagine. In the meantime, let us continue to be eternally grateful to David Milch for having discovered these characters and for allowing us to enjoy their unforgettable stories. From the first chapter to its brilliant epilogue. ‘Deadwood: The Movie’, the example that not all unexpected endings are (so) sad.
The best: The feeling that arises after each reunion with the characters, the characteristic corners of the town and the very essence of ‘Deadwood’. The cast, as it happened in each of the episodes of the series, is superb, without exception. His beautiful final scene, with a lump in the throat and constant applause.
Worst: Say goodbye to a story that, now, seems to have ended in a definitive way. He does not risk too much in his staging or in his story in relation to the series. And it might be a lot to ask for, but it would have been great to enjoy ‘Deadwood: The Movie’ on the big screen.